Can you believe that the back to school season is already upon us?! While you are decorating your classroom and printing math centers, I think it is very important that you take some time and think about how you will go about teaching and practicing classroom procedures.
The number one thing you can do to guarantee a successful school year is to spend LOTS of time teaching classroom procedures. But, that can get super boring!
You wanna laugh? It was my first year of teaching and I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. NONE! I wrote all every single classroom procedure into a handbook for my third graders. It was five pages, 12-point font, front and back. We spent the first couple of days reading and discussing the handbook. Students were falling asleep. It was awful! I owe those sweet kiddos a huge apology.
Teaching and practicing procedures does NOT have to be boring! In fact, if you make it fun, students are more likely to remember the procedures! (Plus, they won’t fall asleep and get drool all over the desks.)
Let be share some fun activities and freebies that will making teaching procedures much more engaging!
Modeling What NOT to Do
This might sound crazy to you, but a fun way to practice those procedures is to have students model what NOT to do!
After you have explained a procedure, choose a student who you suspect may have challenges the procedure. Ask the student to show the class how NOT to do the procedure you have just taught.
“Johnny, show the class how NOT to get books from the classroom. Make sure you do everything you SHOULDN’T do.” Johnny will love this. He will be getting attention that he probably wants. The class will love this because it is downright funny. Let them laugh. It will encourage Johnny.
When Johnny is done, make a list of the things he did wrong. (Examples: talking, running, putting the books in the wrong place, not being careful with the books, taking a ton of books, etc.)
Now, tell Johnny to show the class how to do the activity perfectly. He will now model it correctly.
When he is finished, make a list (or discuss) the things he did correctly.
And you say, “Johnny, you did great. Now I know that you will always be able to correctly get books from our classroom library. You just proved that to me! Thank you! I hope the rest of the class can do it just as well as you!”
Johnny is proud. And now he has no excuse to not follow the rules.
You can choose to repeat this activity with multiple students, but no need for every student to do it. I suggest looking for those kiddos who you suspect may have the most difficulty following the rules.
The activity can be repeated with other procedures during the first couple of weeks of school!
Students do the Teaching
At the beginning of the year, I tend to lose my voice because I am doing so much of the talking. I decided to ditch the traditional “I talk. They listen.”
I do have to do a little explaining. But, once they have been told the procedures, it is time for them to do the teaching.
Split the class into small groups (2-4 students per group). Assign each group a different procedure (that you already covered). Students should work together to create a poster or PowerPoint to reteach the procedure to the class.
There are several advantages to this activity:
- Students are working in groups and practicing teamwork. This helps to build a positive classroom culture.
- Students are being creative and that will help them to remember the procedures. We remember things that we teach!
- You are able to get a glimpse into their speaking, listening and group work skills. This is handy information to have as you start planning future lessons.
- You get a little break to sip your cold coffee.
I like to have my students play procedure board games because it’s the perfect way to have fun while reviewing the classroom rules.
PLUS, they are practicing how to play games in our classroom! We will play games throughout the year and it is important they practice getting materials out, using materials properly, playing fair, and having good sportsmanship.
All you need are some cards with classroom procedure questions and a simple board game. I suggest Candyland, Checkers, Connect Four or Chutes and Ladders. These are games that most students already know how to play and this allows them to focus on the procedure cards more.
Students will take turns answering a procedure question from the cards. If they are correct, they will take their normal turn in the game. If they are not correct, their turn is skipped.
For example, if we are using Candyland, and the student gets the question correct, they will pick a Candyland card and move their game piece to the correct color on the board.
Students love it and it’s a great way for them to make new friends too!
Find Someone Who
This is such a simple activity and I love it because it gets students out of their desks and talking to each other.
Each student needs a Find Someone Who board. They will walk around the room and find someone who can explain the classroom procedures listed on the board. When they find someone who can accurately explain the procedure, the person will write their name in the box.
The catch is that you have to find a different person for each box! They have to talk to lots of different people in the class.
Teaching Classroom Procedures Freebie!
Are you thinking: “Jamie, this is all fine and dandy, but I am busy. I don’t know exactly what procedures I need to teach. I don’t have time to make game cards or a Find Someone Who board. Can’t you just do it for me?”
Yes! Yes, I can! And I did!
I made you a checklist of procedures to teach, game cards, and a Find Someone Who board! And it is all free!
Back to School Bundle
If you want to make back to school season even easier on yourself, you are going to love my Back to School Bundle. This bundles comes with four activities that are perfect for the first week of school, including my Back to School Classroom Procedure Board Game. You don’t have to worry about hunting down board games or playing pieces–I’ve included everything you need to make reviewing Back to School Procedures fun and easy.
But that’s not all . . . The Back to School Bundle includes:
- Back to School Classroom Procedures Board Game
- Growth Mindset Activities
- Back to School Escape Rom
- Meet the Teacher Slides
This money-saving bundle has everything you need to engage students from day one and get them excited about learning in your classroom.
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Learn more about the Growth Mindset activities here.
Have a Not So Wimpy Day,
thank you so much…
Thank you so much. With covid and the social distance rules, I had to do most of the talking with very little student interaction. Of course this would be my first year of teaching. What a way to jump in, lol. I am very excited to try this out and look forward to student interaction this year.
Not So Wimpy Teacher
You can certainly say your first year of teaching was memorable! This year will be totally different and these procedures will get your class off to a great start.
I was looking for something new this school year for rules and procedures. Thank you. I never thought about using a board game. Sadly, many of my students do not know about board games. I plan on having a Fun Friday and show them how to play Chutes and Ladders and Candyland.
Not So Wimpy Teacher
You may like the Game Classroom Theme Decor and Organization EDITABLE Kit to go along with your Fun Friday. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Game-Classroom-Theme-Decor-and-Organization-EDITABLE-Kit-3163337
I just switched from years in Pre-K to a second/third grade combo. Now that schools are back full time, it’s new to us all. This is the perfect ice breaker way to get them interacting with each other! Thank you for sharing all your tricks of the trade, it means a lot!!
I have signed up at least three or four times trying to get the procedure board game cards and haven’t received anything yet. Am I doing something wrong?
Not So Wimpy Teacher
I’m sorry you are having trouble receiving the Back to School Procedure games. Our system is set up to automatically deliver the resource only the first time it is requested. We should it was originally delivered on August 9, 2021. You may need to check your junk folder. Unfortunately, sometimes our resources land there. To be sure you have the resource you need, I resent it to your email today.